While no other Zelda has rivaled it so far in terms of sheer adventure the series has progressed in a satisfying way with its combat, puzzle solving, music, storyline and characters all finding its own identity. It's currently the third most popular Nintendo franchise just under Pokemon and Super Mario Brothers and just had a recent spin-off in the warriors style gameplay called Hyrule Warriors, a new remake for Majora's Mask being announced and of course the very high anticipated open world Wii U game currently only titled The Legend of Zelda for Wii U.
Princess ZeldaPrincess Zelda is one of the main characters of the series but the thing is she's actually not the same Zelda in most games. Both Link and Zelda often change characters in each game and only share themselves in the direct sequels to the tales such as Phantom Hourglass. Each Zelda has a very similar trait since they share the Tri-force of wisdom which means they are always depicted as being wise, smart and very magical. Unlike Link who takes a lot of effort to produce magic Zelda can do it with a snap of a finger. This also translates to her Super Smash Brothers. fighting style where she is one of the only magic users in the game.
But I'm going to be focusing on a different Zelda. The Zelda who's in Skyward Sword and the only Zelda who has shown her feet.
Zelda has had many incarnations but some of those have two different identities.
Tetra is leader of a pirate crew in The Wind Waker and since she's a pirate she's shown to be raiding bomb stores and has a huge pirate ship.
Ayrll is Link's younger sister who is unfortunately mistakenly kidnapped after a botched Tetra heist
from Ganondorf. She's bubbly and loving and even after being kidnapped she waits patiently because she trusts her brother very much. Missing her grandmother and her older brother she gets very depressed in a jail cell surrounded by other mistakenly kidnapped blonde girls until her eventual rescue about halfway through the game. After that she spends rest of the game off screen with Tetra's pirate crew.
Ilia is Link's love interest in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and the mayor of a small farm village. Having grown up on a farm she is very in-tune with animals and will even scold Link after she learns he has been rough with his horse. She is kidnapped early in the game but loses her memory after being knocked out by her pursuer but after a long and lengthy quest Link eventually regains it and their relationship returns to being as strong as ever.
Midna is Link's fiesty side-kick in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and a playable character in the recent Hyrule Warriors. Later revealed to be the Twilight Princess she can perform very powerful attacks with her hair as she is a demon. She has two different forms, one being a chibi and broken version of herself and another being an elegant, tall and beautiful woman.
There are several Great Fairies throughout the series each having different roles and appearences and she makes her first playable debut in Hyrule Warriors as a weapon for Link.
Another great fairy goes barefoot in Twilight Princess after you clear the cave of trials two times.
Impa is another character that changes every game she is in but shares a similar role. She is almost always Princess Zelda's adviser and protector. She is always tall, strong and very intelligent and gives Link advice throughout his adventures. Her most notable roles are in the recent Skyward Sword and Hyrule Warriors where she makes her debut as a playable character.
In Hyrule Warriors she is captain of the knights and she is currently training Link for the big battles ahead.
Marin finds Link unconscious on a beach in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening and plays a minor role in the story. She is the one who gives him a boomerang which allows him to progress in his journey.
I'm almost done but now I'll dump the remaining girls. Either they are too small of a role or have no role at all they are still supporting cast members of their respective games.
The Legend of Zelda has a long and strong future ahead and I'm sure I'll be doing another tribute when the time is right. In Majora's Mask there are also barefoot dancing twins but there is no official art of them and I lack the ability to do good screenshots so they were excluded from this tribute. If I missed anyone else please speak up!